Tuesday, June 03, 2008

People in Pakatan Rakyat governed state should not be worried about Temple demolitions again or SHOULD they still be???

Pakatan Rakyat Selangor State government should just come in use the Land Acquisition Act - and acquire the land on which this temple is thus saving the Temple. It is so simple - and one wonders why PKR MP is out there protesting with the rakyat about some police reports not acted upon. [When land is acquired, the registered owner is paid reasonably for the value of the land]

Talking about temples, the question now is what is the SELANGOR and the other Pakatan Rakyat State governments going to do about those temples that have been demolished? Alternative sites be found, and the temples re-built for the community. The same must also be done for the churches/chapels, temples, kuils, suraus,etc..For the Catholics, we must think about that St Anne's Chapel in Serdang...that was demolished.

The Pakatan Rakyat government must also come in immediately and gazette(or do whatever necessary to) all land on which there are temples as protected. If the owners are some other, then use the Land Acquisition Act or other means to ensure that the Land is preserved - for the temple/kuil/surau/etc...

In fact, it is time for a re-look and the development of NEW policy about temples, churches, suraus, kuils and other places of worship - there must be immediate allocation of land in towns and areas where there was NONE during the BN rule of these states. (Maybe, it should be that if there are 250 persons of a faith in an area (or extended area), then there is a right to build a chapel, a small kuil, a surau, etc...)

There must also be a POLICY that all places of worship is the responsibility of the State - and as such there must be allocation for maintenance. Regular monthly cutting of grass, beautification works, etc should come under the Local Councils...The same must also be for burial sites and cemetery.

In fact, the Christian cemetery in Cheras is overcrowded. Heard that persons are being buried above others or just too close to others. There is a need for NEW Christian cemeteries, and cemeteries for other religions as well.

Talking about that, maybe it is time to ensure that there prayer places for all religions especially at hospitals ...I am sure the various different religious groups would be ever willing to look after these prayer rooms and assist in its setting-up.

Was that call of "Makkal Sakti" used at them Pakatan Rakyat rallies all just for getting the votes of the Indians -- or will we be seeing changes.

The announcement of things to come in the States can be done NOW -- whilst the implementation could come some months later.

So will that temple in Kapar be saved by the Pakatan Rakyat government of Selangor by just stepping in an acquiring the land and that temple....

Temple demolition: Report lodged against police 'inaction'
Fauwaz Abdul Aziz | Jun 2, 08 6:21pm

A police report was filed today against Klang district police chief ACP Mohamad Mat Yusop for allegedly not acting on "tens of police reports" that have been lodged over a land transfer and clearance works involving the Sri Maha Nagamuthu Karumariamman temple near Jalan Kapar.

PKR's Kapar member of Parliament S Manikavasagam filed the report this morning, a day after residents living near the 80-year-old temple and activists demonstrated against its planned demolition by the ‘owner' of the temple.

kapar temple demolition 020608 demo"Tens of police reports have been lodged over several years, but nothing has been done," Manikavasagam told Malaysiakini.

According to Manikavasagam, workers for the current owner - who allegedly acquired the one-hectare land on which the temple stands through dubious means - had already broken parts of the roof of the temple and broken or taken down the statues contained inside.

"We're still doing research regarding the owner, but we believe the owner is connected to a local state assemblyperson and has development plans for the land. We believe the land costs up to RM3 million, maybe more," said Manikavasagam.

He said numerous police reports had been lodged since the temple caretaker E Muthu Kumar discovered the land was transferred to somebody else.

Muthu claimed that he had lived on the land for over 50 years and that his father had been given the land by its original landowner.

A protracted struggle

The original landowner, Harbhajan Singh, is said to have migrated to India in 1973 and died there in the 1980s.

In 1996, however, Muthu found that the land had earlier been transferred to one ‘Lin Chee Yong', who obtained in 2000 a Shah Alam High Court order for the land to be vacated.

kapar temple demolition 020608 remainsA protracted struggle then ensued between Lin and Muthu, which saw contempt charges as well as a spate of police reports being filed between the parties against the other.

In 2007, Muthu applied for the Shah Alam High Court to set aside its earlier decision on the basis that the land transfer was allegedly "fraudulently obtained".

Muthu's lawyer Dr SN Pathmanabhan said this claim was based on the finding that Harbhajan's identity card (IC) number as contained in the memorandum of transfer to Lin actually belonged to a Chinese woman residing in Kuala Lipis, Pahang.

He also said that contrary to the practice of Punjabis of his generation, Harbhajan - who would have been in his 80s in 1996 - had written in "very precise English".

"The signature, furthermore, did not look like that of an 80-plus year old but that of a much stronger, younger person," he told Malaysiakini.

Pathmanabhan also said the payment of RM850,000 that Harbhajan allegedly received for the sale of his land actually never materialised.

Over and above all of these reasons, he added, was the fact that Harbhajan had died in India in the 1980s but supposedly entered in 1996 into a transaction to sell the land concerned.

Police inaction

Pathmanabhan said the Shah Alam High Court had set Aug 27 this year to hear the application to set aside the 2000 court order.

Parallel to the case, said Manikavasagam, his concern today was for the police to address the questions of Muthu and the patrons of the temple as to why they had not acted on the numerous reports lodged on Lin's efforts to clear the land.

kapar temple demolition 020608 bannerThese efforts were taken despite the ongoing court proceedings and included efforts to dislodge Muthu, the disconnection of the temple's water supply, and damage done to the gates and other parts of the temple building, he said.

On Oct 1, 2007, a police report was lodged claiming threats had been made to the lives of the Muthu and his family, Manikavasagam added.

"We lodged the police report against ACP Mohamad Mat because the police had not acted on that and the many other reports that had been lodged," said Manikavasagam.

ACP Mohamad Mat could not be reached for comments.

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